A Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending Time In
After numerous acronyms and name changes John Dwyer settles on Thee Oh Sees as his latest incarnation and The Master's Bedroom sees this Bay Area musician belt out churning garage rock in a manner that doesn't take itself too seriously and is so effortless that you will keep on listening despite its repetitive nature.
Sounding something like the B-52's - devoid of all production niceties and jamming furiously in a disused aircraft hanger - Thee Oh Sees create here a dirty assault on your ears but with the best of intentions. Dwyer's vocals are filtered through what sounds like a loud speaker and are often shadowed by Brigid Dawson, whose high-pitch accompaniment adds melody and texture to this muddy concoction. The pace is furious and unrelenting with pounding guitars chiming and jangling forth with delightful energy while being encased in crashing cymbals and pounding rhythm. Songs like opener Block Of Ice and Poison Finger take a punk intensity but inject a pop melody to keep it all sweet. The music is vicious but the overall feeling is palatable and it's all down to the insistence on the pop hooks that force their way through the muck. The only step down from this pace is by way of the thick psychedelia in songs like Grease. These songs employ the same density but at a slower pace they seem almost impenetrably gooey.
While The Master's Bedroom isn't quite so interesting as some of its lo-fi drone rock counterparts that have been lighting me up recently, they certainly have a place in what's going on in California musically at the moment. With only a handful of tempos and a limited sonic palette this album does lack variety but all the same it rocks hard and that's good enough for me sometimes.
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